Medicine Bow Peak, WY Airliner Crash, Oct 1955

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Impact Area of Airplane Medicine Bow Peak WY Wreckage 10-7-1955.jpg Medicine Bow Peak WY Memorial 10-7-1955.jpg

OAKLAND-BOUND PLANE CRASHES; FEAR 64 DEAD.

Airliner Hits Peak, Explodes; Rescuers on Way to Wreck; May Be Worst Civil Air Crash.

An Oakland-bound United Air Lines DC-4 smashed into a snow-covered, 12,000-foot peak in southern Wyoming today and apparently killed all 64 persons aboard in what probably is the worst civil air disaster in United States history.

The four-engined plane apparently hit near the top of Medicine Bow Peak, 35 to 40 miles west of Laramie, Wyo., and exploded into flames.
Pilots of the 44th Air Rescue Squadron who flew over the crash scene said the plane disintegrated and that it seemed impossible for any of the 61 passengers and three crew members to have survived.

Ground crews were expected to reach the crash site shortly after noon.

AIR COACH FLIGHT.
The plane, an air coach flight which took off from New York's International Airport last night, was due in Oakland at 10:55 a. m., then was to terminate at San Francisco.

Air line officials said it would take "some time" to check the places where the plane stopped and to compile an accurate list of the 61 passengers.

But five passengers aboard the plane were believed to be members of the famed Salt Lake City Mormon Tabernacle choir, returning home from a concert tour of Europe.

They were identified unofficially in Salt Lake City as MRS. ENDON C. SCHOW, of Bountiful, Utah; and MRS. DONALD A. KIRK, MRS. B. RAY SEARLE, MRS. CHARLES SMURTHWAITE and MRS. VICTOR J. BECK, all of Salt Lake City.

Four other passengers were identified unofficially as MRS. DARRELL TUCKER, of Ogden; her 21 month old daughter, and MRS. GEORGIA M. WEST, of Salt Lake City, and her son, EARL.

CREWMEN FROM BAY.
The three crew members were indentified[sic] as:
Capt. CLINT C. COOKE, 35, 1135 San Mateo Drive, Menlo Park.
First Officer RALPH D. SALISBURY, 33, 981 Blair Court, Palo Alto.
Stewardess MISS PATRICIA SHUTTLEWORTH, 22, Salt Lake City.
COOKE lived at the Menlo Park address with his wife, ALLEE and his two children, CAROLYN, 9, and JAMES, 5. He had been with U.A.L. Since 1943. He had been a flight instructor in the Air Force. His parents, MR. And MRS. C. C. COOKE, SR., live in Cordell, Okla.

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Comments

neat picture...

I made a documentary film about this and I'v never seen the photo above... weird.

Medicine Bow Crash

I would very much like to see the documentary about this crash....my father was on it. Can you tell me where I can find it?

William Burgin
wburgin@williamburgin.com

OCTOBER 1955 PLANE CRASH IN WYOMING

MY FATHER, MOTHER AND I FLEW FROM OAKLAND TO NEW YORK TO SEE MY DYING GRANDFATHER IN NEW JERSEY WHEN I WAS 15 MONTHS OLD. WE WERE SCHEDULED TO BE ON THIS FLIGHT BUT DECIDED TO TAKE A LATER FLIGHT BECAUSE MY MOTHER FELT ILL. NO FAMILY MEMBERS WERE NOTIFIED ABOUT OUR CHANGE IN PLANS SO WHEN WORD GOT BACK TO THEM IN NEW JERSEY THEY OF COURSE THOUGHT WE WERE DEAD. NOT UNTIL OUR ARRIVAL HOME IN MOFFET FIELD DID MY PARENTS FIND OUT ABOUT THE CRASH. MY BROTHERS AND I HAVE HEARD THIS STORY SO MANY TIMES AS WE GREW UP AND TO FIND AN ARTICAL ABOUT THE CRASH IS VERY WEIRD FOR ME. THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION.

LEO STAFFORD

flight 409

how can i see our film about flight 409?

Air Crash

I would love to see this documentary. I have searched for a long time for anything about this. My Grandma, Georgie, and my Uncle Earl were on this flight.

i was there

the wyoming outing club worked several days on the accident. myself, diggs lewis and a man from the cap were the first ones on the crash.

Air Crash

If anyone has pictures, videos, or would be willing to tell me anything about this crash, I would love to hear it. I know my mother received almost nothing from United Airlines, and they would only pay for one headstone per family, so my Uncle Earl has no headstone at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery in Salt Lake. This loss caused our family grief and dysfunction my whole growing up. My email is walker.rosanna@gmail.com

WOW!!

That's quite a story, sometimes you get to see and know about the near misses you were protected from!! There is still a debris field up there on the side of the mountain, including two of the engines. It is a short hike maybe 3/4 mile from the nearest road but it's up and down scrambling and jumping from boulder to boulder at 11'000 FT so it takes some effort. The snow covering the site doesn't melt until August. I have a few recent photos but I hope to get some better ones this August 2011.

PLane Crash

I would be very interested in knowing more about your documentary. I too have a realtive that was on board the ill fated plane that went down over Wyoming.
Any help and or information that you could provide would be appreciated.

Guy M. Evans

wyoming oct 6 1955

my uncle was on that flight henry s dean on board omaha home town he died 51 days before i was born. my grandma never got over it. muchless all family. all my life heard about it until i came upon this. when me my brother an sisters an cousin was little we would wave at all an any plane go by a say hi to uncle henry.
uncle henry gone but not forgotten. love you!!!!